Why light can travel with or without a medium

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why light can travel with or without a medium

How long can light live? Can it die? [Explained]

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Hi Raja, Good question. First, let's think about why sound does not travel forever. Sound cannot travel through empty space; it is carried by vibrations in a material, or medium like air, steel, water, wood, etc. As the particles in the medium vibrate, energy is lost to heat, viscous processes, and molecular motion. So, the sound wave gets smaller and smaller until it disappears. In contrast, light waves can travel through a vacuum, and do not require a medium.

Dominic - This has to do with two theories of physics called quantum mechanics and special relativity.
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By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It only takes a minute to sign up. As I understand it, electromagnetic waves have two components which are the result of each other, i. Is my understanding correct?

Whereas scientists ventured back and forth between the notion that light was a particle or a wave until the modern, the 20th century led to breakthroughs that showed that it behaves as both. However, there remains many fascinating and unanswered questions when it comes to light, many of which arise from its dual nature. For instance, how is it that light can be apparently without mass, but still behave as a particle? And how can it behave like a wave and pass through a vacuum, when all other waves require a medium to propagate? During the Scientific Revolution, scientists began moving away from Aristotelian scientific theories that had been seen as accepted canon for centuries. In many ways, this theory had been previewed by atomists of Classical Antiquity such as Democritus and Lucretius both of whom viewed light as a unit of matter given off by the sun.



Does light need a medium in order to travel?

Why is it said that light does not need a medium through which to travel? Answer by Brian Bi , who majored in physics, on Quora :. - Chat or rant, adult content, spam, insulting other members, show more. Harm to minors, violence or threats, harassment or privacy invasion, impersonation or misrepresentation, fraud or phishing, show more.

Why Doesn't Light Need To Travel Through A Medium?

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Speed of Light: How Does Light Travel?

How can light travel without a medium to travel through?

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